United Arab Emirates & Qatar Entry Requirements Changes

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There was plenty of incorrect information put out over the weekend from Qatar Airways suspending all flights to UAE banning all visitors, and neither of these two was correct.

Qatar Airways continues to fly, and all transit/transfer passengers are welcomed. Passengers who are not Qatari nationals cannot enter the country, however. UAE has stopped issuing entry visas, but passengers who hold passports from countries without visa requirements can continue to enter normally.

You can access Qatar’s page for the announcement here and UAE’s here.

There has been an update on March 18:

United Arab Emirates Closes Its Borders From All Non-Residents & Bans Nationals Traveling

Here’s the Qatar announcement:

Under the instructions of the Ministry of Public Health, from midnight Wednesday evening, 18 March, entry to the State of Qatar will only be allowed for Qatari nationals, who will be required to enter quarantine for a period of 14 days.

Passport holders of other nations will no longer be granted entry for a period of 14 days, after which the restrictions will be reviewed. Passengers with onward connections through HIA will be accepted for travel and Qatar Airways’ global network will continue its operation for transit passengers as normal. Cargo operations remain unaffected.

And here from the Dubai airport:

March 16, 2020 – The safety and wellbeing of all our customers and community members is of paramount importance at this time. By working closely with the Dubai Health Authority, we are ensuring the correct procedures are taken in the airport environment. Dubai Airports continues to maintain strict cleanliness and hygiene standards.

As part of our response to the ongoing situation around Covid-19, Dubai Airports can confirm the following information, as directed by the UAE’s General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), the UAE health authorities and other relevant authorities. Given airlines may have implemented flight cancellations for commercial reasons, we advise customers to check with their airline in advance of travel.

Issuance of Visas

Effective March 17, UAE authorities have temporarily suspended the issuance of entry visas. This does not apply to those passengers holding diplomatic passports (exceptions apply, check prior to travel) or those who have had visas issued prior to March 17.

It also does not apply to passengers who hold passports from the following countries. These passengers can continue to travel to and from the UAE although may be subject to additional screening.

Andorra Estonia Maldives Slovakia
Argentina Finland Malta Slovenia
Australia France Mauritius Solomon Islands
Austria Germany Mexico South Korea
Bahamas Greece Monaco Spain
Barbados Holland Montenegro Sweden
Belgium Honduras Nauru Switzerland
Brazil Hong Kong New Zealand Ukraine
Brunei Hungary Norway USA
Bulgaria Iceland Paraguay United Kingdom
Canada Italy Poland Uruguay
Chile Japan Portugal Vatican City
China Kazakhstan Republic of Ireland
Colombia Kiribati Romania
Costa Rica Latvia Russia
Croatia Liechtenstein Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Cyprus Lithuania San Marino
Czech Republic Luxembourg Serbia
Denmark Macau Seychelles
El Salvador Malaysia Singapore


Screening on Arrival

On arrival to Dubai International (DXB) all passengers will go through a non-intrusive thermal scanning process as they pass through customs.

Those arriving from any of the countries listed below will undergo thermal screening and nasal swab. This level of screening is being carried out by Dubai Health Authority’s (DHA) airport medical centre team at Dubai International (DXB) and limited to the following countries:

  • Italy – Rome
  • Lebanon (until March 16)
  • People’s Republic of China – Beijing
  • Syria (until March 16)
  • Thailand

Screening on Departure

All passengers departing on passenger flights bound for destinations in the United States will also undergo thermal screening.


There is an information overflow when it comes to all these travel and entry requirements that are hastily put in place. Some are dependent on what passport you have while others which countries or areas you have been or sometimes even transited in the past 14 days.

There is very little, if any, advance notice of these changes at the moment. It seems that UAE is keeping its doors open for most western nationals.

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